Prevalence and correlations between suicide attempt, depression, substance use, and functionality among patients with limb amputations

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Most patients undergoing limb amputations suffer significant emotional changes. The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of suicide attempts and depression in a sample of Mexican patients with limb amputations and, second, to determine whether the patients’ functionality correlates with the presence of depression. We studied 40 patients who had undergone a limb amputation. The suicide attempt was evaluated using the Suicide Intent Scale. The depression was assessed using the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, whereas the functionality of the patients was measured using the Functional Independence Measure. In this sample, 90% were men, whereas only 10% were women. In terms of the suicide behavior, we identified suicide attempts in 27.5% of the patients. The rate of depression was 92.5%. In the Functional Independence Measure, we observed that 57.5% of the patients showed complete dependence. Finally, a significant correlation was found between depression and functionality (r=−0.75, P<0.001). The findings of the present study highlight the high incidence of suicide attempts and depression in Mexican patients with limb amputations. Also, we identified a correlation between the lack of functional independence and depression. Therefore, holistic interventions are necessary in these patients: rehabilitation therapy to increase their functionality, and psychological and pharmacology therapy to decrease suicidal behavior and depression. Finally, more studies using larger samples are necessary to obtain conclusive results.

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